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DASH Honored in Class of 2023 Nonprofits

As a leading nonprofit in the Greater Washington region, DASH was honored by Spur Local for our mission and services to empower domestic violence survivors. Spur Local recognized DASH in the “Growth Partners Over $4 Million Budgets” category as part of its 2023 class.

The process to be selected in this year’s class included over 150 volunteers from local foundations and nonprofits who reviewed applications, programs, and finances and conducted site visits. Alongside 133 nonprofits, DASH was chosen for being highly trusted as a critical nonprofit in our area.

“Recognizing and amplifying the impact of organizations like the ones in our new class is at the very heart of Spur Local,” said Matt Gayer, Executive Director of Spur Local. “These small nonprofits are creating local and hyperlocal change on a community-level. The significance of that for our region, and as a model for other regions, cannot be overstated.”

Over the next four years, Spur Local will offer free resources to DASH and the 2023 class, including skill building workshops and networking opportunities. DASH will also be featured on Spur Local’s website, social media, blog, and at events.

DASH is truly grateful to Spur Local for this recognition as we strive to make safe housing a human right. With the community’s support, DASH continues to create lasting change and build a safer, more welcoming society.

Learn more about DASH’s programs and services at dashdc.org. See the full list of the 2023 class and learn more about Spur Local at spurlocal.org.

DASH and Spur Local seal

Safe Housing Champion: Mary Braxton

Building Brick Award

We are excited to award Mary Braxton, Assistant Community Manager at Edgewood Commons, with the “Building Brick” award. In construction, the “building brick” is that which makes up the substance of the structure. Mary Braxton’s help to ensure that the families at DASH are provided with more than just a safe place to run, but the ability to establish new homes – quickly, easily, and comfortably, the way a home should be – helps changes lives.

How did you first become connected to DASH?20150406_071949

My first connection with DASH was around the beginning of 2014 while working at another Edgewood Managed property. I was online researching housing programs for victims of Domestic Violence to assist a resident that was dealing with a serious domestic issue with her family and I came across a link (http://www.endhomelessness.org/library/entry/dashs-empowerment-project-rapid-re-housing-for-survivors-of-domestic-violen ). I clicked on the link  it was an article about DASH. I then googled DASH to get the contact information. I reached out to DASH to get more information and I started referring residents to them.

What has DASH’s impact been on the survivors of domestic violence you work with?

DASH has had a tremendous impact on the survivors I work with. The financial assistance that DASH has provided to survivors it has enable them to maintain their affordable housing and most are now receiving counseling from other sources.  Unfortunately, due to the type of work I do I’m unable to provide specific stories.

From your perspective as a property manager, what are some of the unique challenges that survivors of domestic violence face when looking for affordable housing?  

The greatest challenge survivors face is having good credit. Many of the survivors I work with depended on their abusers for financial assistance to pay their rent . Once the abuser leaves then the survivor can no longer rely on that source for assistance. Unfortunately, it’s a trickle-down effect and they’re not able to pay the rent on time and as a result I have to sue them. Every time they’re sued it’s reported to the credit bureau and then their credit is negatively impacted. When the survivor goes to look for affordable housing the first thing that is checked is their rental and credit history. Most HUD funded properties will not accept applicants with negative rental history.

Why do you think that safe housing is an important service for survivors of domestic violence in DC?

I think safe housing is an extremely important service for survivors because it allows them time to get themselves together and reflect on their situation. Without  safe housing they will not be able to move forward with their recovery.

6 Reasons to Attend Allies in Change; Part 2

Join us at Allies in Change as we honor the people and organizations that make a difference at DASH. Need a reason to buy a ticket? We’ve got six good ones. See part 1 here.

4. Hear a Survivor’s Story. Our Special Guest Speaker will be a DASH survivor who will share her story and courageous efforts to escape from abuse and rebuild her life.

5. Take snapshots in our photo booth! Thanks to MOI Inc. our photo booth sponsor!

6. Support Safe Housing. At DASH we believe that safe housing should be a right shared by everyone. Help us make that a reality, buy a ticket today.

Join us on April 30th, go to our event page for tickets and information.

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Allies in Change Awards Reception

DASH’s Allies in Change Awards Reception recognizes community partners who have made a difference in the lives of women and children facing homelessness due to domestic violence. As the District Alliance for Safe Housing, DASH relies on our allies in the community to amplify DASH’s mission and work to ensure that every home is a safe home for survivors of abuse.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

6:00PM to 8:00PM

Center for Strategic and International Studies (1616 Rhode Island Ave, NW, DC)

RSVP here

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, click here or contact Jasmine at jowens@dashdc.wpengine.com.

DASHing into the Community: 1

Art Group Profile: Amanda

We are starting a new monthly blog featuring the community partners and volunteers who contribute so much to the success of the DASH safe housing programs. Amanda volunteers every week in the children’s Art Group. Read below to see what her favorite art project has been!

1. Why did you decide to start volunteering with DASH?

I’ve always had a passion for volunteering.  When I moved to DC two years ago, I was looking for volunteer opportunities that were consistent and that I could really make a commitment to.  I first heard about DASH from one of my friends who was a volunteer.  I was definitely interested in volunteering here based on what a great organization DASH seemed to be.  I also have always had a passion for art.  So when an opportunity presented itself to volunteer on a weekly basis for Art Group, it seemed like it could be a really good fit.  After the first Tuesday night of volunteering for Art Group, I knew that it was actually a great fit!

2.  What is your favorite Art Project that you have created in group thus far?

I really thought about this question, and what I continuously went back to was when we made snowflakes right before the Holidays.  No matter what age the children were, this project presented no requirements or restrictions, like painting in the lines, etc.  They could fold the pieces of paper into any type of fold, could fold it in half, or fold it ten times, and they could cut whatever shapes they wanted to into it.  No matter what, the end result was a beautiful snowflake.  To me, this project really portrayed what art should be; a way to express yourself through creation.  Furthermore, it was wonderful to see how excited and proud the children were when we hung the snowflakes up all over the room.

3.  What’s your favorite thing about volunteering with Art Group?

Seeing what the kids create from week to week, and how they’re able to express themselves through art.  Selfishly, I would also say that it forces me to focus on and appreciate the here and now and leave everything else at the door for at least an hour and a half.  I think sometimes the focus and appreciation of the present gets lost in the busy shuffle of everyday life. It also provides a humbling reminder on a weekly basis of what matters most; the importance of community and taking care of one another in that community.

4.  Why do you think that Art Group is an important program at DASH?

As cliche as this sounds, to me, art can be therapeutic on a diversity of levels.  If you’re having a bad day or whatever you may be going through, doing art on any level – whether it’s painting, cutting shapes, coloring, or creating a Monet-like masterpiece; it forces you to focus on what you are doing in that moment and takes your mind off of everything else, if even for a short period of time.  Basically, it’s like a breath of fresh air for your mind.

Art Group at DASH is important because for an hour and a half, it provides an opportunity for the kids – no matter what their age is – to focus on creating something that is completely unrelated to anything else, and provides that mental breath of fresh air.  Further, I think that through creating something like a piece of artwork that they are excited about and proud of, it helps build their confidence through a tremendously fun mechanism.


Healing Through Creative Expression

photo 3The Arcade, which is dedicated to promoting and educating art in Washington DC, and whose goal is to establish studio and workshop space for artists in the area has partnered with DASH to develop and hone in on the remarkable talents of some of the children at DASH.  Every Tuesday night at our Cornerstone location, Anne-Marie VanTassell and Beth Hansen volunteer with our resident children at DASH.  February 4, DASH hosted its second Children’s Art Show at Cornerstone.  Our resident children proudly provided presentations of their works to their families and community members. This showcase not only illustrated the hard work of both the volunteers and the resident children; but it also demonstrated the healing of trauma through creative expression.  One DASH supporter stated, “It was awesome to see the children showcasing their art, explaining processes, and thoughtfully answering questions about their pieces!”

photo 2 Thank you to all of who attended the art show, volunteered your time, and donated funds and/or art supplies for the program.  A major KUDOS and THANK YOU to our volunteer art teachers, Anne-Marie and Beth and to our Children’s Program Director, Emma.

Share-A-Haircut for DASH!


In need of a haircut? Visit a local Hair Cuttery!

On February 4th and 5th, when any client (adult or child) purchases a haircut at Hair Cuttery, they will match that haircut by donating a free haircut certificate to DASH!  The free certificates will be given to women and children residents at DASH.  Help spread the word!


4th Annual Allies in Change Awards Luncheon


Each year, DASH recognizes those community partners who have made a difference in the lives of women and children facing homelessness due to domestic violence.

This year we are excited to welcome back Erika Gonzalez of NBC4 as our Mistress of Ceremonies.

And we are thrilled to have Yvette Cade as our keynote speaker who will share her inspirational story of survival as she escaped domestic abuse.  Ms. Cade was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show and has focused her survival on speaking out against domestic violence in communities around the country.

Join us on April 2nd as we honor those who continue to be an ally in the community to amplify our mission and work to ensure that every home is a safe home for survivors of abuse.

Purchase a ticket or be a sponsor!

When:  Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 12:00PM to 1:30PM

Where:  Hyatt Regency at Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

For more information on the Allies in Change Awards Luncheon, please contact Tameka Martin at tmartin@dashdc.wpengine.com or Meghan McDonough at mmcdonough@dashdc.wpengine.com.

DASH Partners With DC Diaper Bank

DASH has partnered with DC Diaper Bank to support the babies of DASH.  In 2 months we’ve provided diapers to over 20 families and could not do it without their support!  DC Diaper Bank also recently celebrated 3 years of service!

DC Diaper Bank works to provide an adequate and reliable supply of diapers to babies, toddlers and their families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. It is modeled after successful diaper banks around the country, providing diapers to social service organizations that are already helping families in need through comprehensive programs and services. Diaper banks using this model ensure that diapers are distributed to the families that need them the most and in the most effective way.

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The Giving Library

DASH’s founder and Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo just returned from an exciting trip to Houston, TX, where she filmed a video for the Giving Library, a groundbreaking initiative that connects donors to nonprofit organizations through online video interviews. The library’s goal is to help nonprofits share their work while helping philanthropists enhance their strategic charitable giving.

DASH is thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight the innovative work we do and the courageous families we serve, on a national stage. As Peg notes in the video, “In the last seven years, [DASH has] grown to become the city’s largest dedicated safe housing provider for victims and their families and [has] almost tripled the amount of safe housing, through our own programs and in partnership with other providers.  Moreover, our model of services has since become nationally known for our comprehensive and compassionate approach.”

20131010_110943The video will be ready in a few months and we can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, check out the photo of Peg filming in the studio.  Thank you so much to the Giving Library and the Laura and the John Arnold Foundation for providing us with this opportunity and for their support as we continue our work to prevent survivors from having to choose between living without a home and living with abuse.

Spur Local Critical Nonprofit 23
GuideStar Seal of Transparency
Impact Rated Nonprofit seal via Impact Matters
Greatest Nonprofits Top-Rated
United Way: #9391 | CFC: #99008
District Alliance for Safe Housing | PO Box 91730 Washington, DC 20090
202-462-3274 | info@dashdc.org | 501(c)(3) | #71-1019574